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Anderson Cooper 360

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Russia 39, Crimea 26, United States 18, U.s. 12, Nato 11, Obama 6, Us 6, John Mccain 6, Georgia 5, Vladimir Putin 4, Eastern Ukraine 3, Syria 3, Kiev 3, Ben Wedeman 3, John Kerry 3, Mccain 3, Ukraine 3, Cialis 2, Bush 2, Anderson Cooper 2,
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  CNN    Anderson Cooper 360  

    March 3, 2014
    5:00 - 6:00pm PST  

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with rod ford, ellen everywhere, and pepperoni pizza. whether out of popularity or coincidence, moments after it was posted twitter crashed. even better than that, was when liza minnelli crashed the self-ie. jeanne moos, cnn new york. >> our coverage of the crisis in the ukraine continues now with anderson cooper live in kiev. good evening, i'm anderson cooper reporting live from kiev in ukraine. a country on the brink. as the new prime minister has said. russian forces in the crimea, the fear that they may move further into eastern ukraine. i'm reporting from independence square, where a week and a half ago, people were fighting and dying for change here in ukraine. they got the change. the former president fled, no one could have predicted what happened next. russian forces on the ground in
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crimea. it's a little before dawn on tuesday morning, the start of a day no one can predict, what will happen over the next 12 hours. people are hoping and praying it does not end in bloodshed. there has been far too much bloodshed already. in this area here, people died a little more than a week and a half ago, right now it's considered holy ground a place of martyrs, flowers, makeshift memorials all around the barricades, the sandbags are all still up, all still a sign of what happened here a short time ago. the protesters remain, because they want to make sure that the changes that the new government here in ukraine have promised will take root. the promises made will be followed up on. the new government here, a shaky government at best, an interim president, a new prime minister, they're certainly hoping now that diplomacy will work in order to alter the situation on the ground in crimea. the government here is looking
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to the west, looking to the united states to aide in that diplomacy. at the same time, they're calling up the military reserves here in the ukraine, if it comes to an all out war. that is something all sides say they want to avoid at all costs. there have been a lot of developments, in the last five or six hours. we want to bring you up to date on, we have our complete coverage with our correspondents all throughout the region and all across the globe tonight. first, i want to bring you up to speed, what's happened today and over the last 72 hours. take a look. >> it's a fact that russia has surrounded or taken over all military facilities in crimea. it is a fact that russian jets entered ukrainian airspace. >> samantha power making clear in words what the people of crimea see on the streets. the heavily armed troops have tightened their grip on the crimea region of ukraine. it all unraveled quickly over
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the last 72 hours. >> the russian federation constitute an act of aggression against the state of ukraine. >> that in response to russian president vladimir putin receiving authorities saturday from his parliament to use military force in ukraine. all the while, the spectacle continued. a mystery gunman with no insignias on their uniforms, patrolling the streets. >> where are you from? >> russia. >> from where in russia? >> it's not important. >> but it is important to nearly all of europe and the united states. president obama spoke to president putin calling on him to withdraw his troops. on sunday the situation seemed to get worse. they surrounded their naval operations base. asking the commander to hand over control. >> we've been ordered to defend
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the base he says, if anyone tries to force us to leave, we'll defend it and fight with our guns. >> in all some ten bases surround it. ukrainian troops inside the base appear to be russian troops on the youd sides. the stand-offs have been tense, so far there's been no loss of life. russia had complete operational control of crimea. >> the central government is shaky to say the least, the former president fled a little more than a week ago, there's an acting minister now, and a new prime minister. the crisis is the last thing they need. >> ukrainian government is mobilizing troops and calling up military reservists to fight should they need them. >> you just signed up today for the fight if it comes to that? >> yes, i did it today. >> why do you want to fight? what are you ready to fight for? >> crimea is our country.
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>> president putin today oversaw military training drills outside st. petersburg, russia. the message seemingly crystal clear, the russian military is ready. and just in the last few hours, new images of armored personnel carriers rolling into crimea. no question this time who these men are fighting for. throughout the european union and washington, it's been a day of fierce diplomatic efforts trying to figure out some sort of way to solve the crisis, to end the crisis on the ground in crimea. president obama spoke a short time ago today while he was meeting with the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu. listen. >> obviously the facts on the ground in crimea are deeply troubling, and russia has a large army that borders ukraine.
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but what is also true is that over time this will be a costly proposition for russia. and now is the time for them to consider whether they can serve their interests in a way that resorts to diplomacy as opposes to force. >> secretary of state john kerry will be on the ground here in ukraine in kiev later on today. expected to depart shortly from andrews air force base. we'll bring you that departure as it happens, i want to go to jim acosta at the white house. what is the latest in terms of diplomatic efforts on the u.s. front? >> president obama met with his national security advisers earlier this evening, they're not really looking at military options, at least according to what the white house is saying. they're focused on what can be done economically and diplomatically, you heard this talk over the weekend that u.s. and allies won't go to the g-8
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summit this summer in russia. the u.s. is cancelling all military engagements that it has with the russians, that's a new step that took place this evening. you mentioned that secretary of state john kerry is heading over to kiev to talk about financial assistance that he is brings promises of from the united states and hopefully according to this white house from european allies, but the president believes that the world is on his side, not vladimir putin's side, the question is whether vladimir putin is listening. >> and in terms of options that the united states has. i mean, there are not a huge number of options. >> there aren't a whole lot of options, they're going to continue to isolate as the president said. they're looking at trade deals. they're looking at commerce deals. but in terms of what the president believes vladimir putin is up to, i can tell you from talking to officials over
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here at the white house. they believe vladimir putin is operating under his own set of facts, it's just that the white house doesn't agree with that set of facts. he believes ukraine is creeping closer and closer to the west and europe, and he's trying to stop that. what the president wants to convince vladimir putin of is is there are options to do this. that should be done with ethnic russians in ukraine. that's the right approach, not going down the road of vladimir putin's military exercise so far, anderson zm. >> jim, thanks very much. i want to bring in matthew chance who spent six years reporting from moscow. spent a lot of time here in ukraine and also ben wedeman is joining us in crimea. bed, let me start off with you, what is the situation you have been witnesses over the last 12-24 hours on the ground?
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>> certainly what we're seeing is that the russians are very much in control of all major areas in crimea, we were today at a court in the eastern part of the country where we saw a contingent of about 100 of these so called men in green. we spoke to their commander and he did have a hat with an insig new ya with the russian black fleet. he said his name was alexander, they've been here since the first of march, we saw that locals were am coulding to offer them food, support, shelter and even showers. so we're seeing that the russians are deploying in areas where the local population is sympathetic to them. in this town we're seeing also that they've been fairly well received. this, of course, is a town where the ukrainian navy is headquartered, outside that headquarters there were about 30
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men today rather this evening, some of them waiving russian flags. the headquarters are barricaded. but it didn't appear that there was a confrontation or an attempt to break into the headquarters. so definitely as u.s. officials said last night, the russians are in effect in control of this peninsula. >> matthew chance joining me here in kiev. >> the government here, the new government, interim president, new prime minister. it's a shaky government, and it turns out the military, they don't have the capabilities to take on russia. >> no, they don't. it's all over the past 20 or so years since the collapse of the soviet union. ukraine's military has been degraded where the russian military has been bolstered, there's been a lot of investment in the military. they've been engaged in a number of conflicts.
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and so there's no question that if ukraine were to get engaged in a military confrontation with russia, they would be worse off. >> they've been very careful at this point not to provote russian forces on the growned. >> they are aware of their situation. they have put the country on alert. they've engaged in military training, they say they're prepared to fight. if you speak to people here on the streets, you have. they'll say, we are prepared to defend that country and if necessary, die for the territoryial integrity of u y ukrai ukraine. people are genuinely fearful on all sides that this could escalate into a much wider conflict. >> we speak a lot about it being a russian speaking area, but it is actually an ethnically diverse area.
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there are some who are muslims, other groups as well, and if you hear russian officials, they make it sound as if there have been widespread acts of violence against russian speaking people in crimea and eastern ukraine. in terms of what you've seen on the ground in crimea, have you witnessed any of that. have you had reports of any violence against russian speaking people prior to the russian troops arriving? >> none whatsoever, actually, in fact, i think people that -- the ukrainians are quite concerned about the russian presence. particularly the tatars who, if you recall in world war ii they were deported enmass by this -- by soviet forces and only allowed back in the early 1990s, they're vehemently anti-russian, and they're worried that if russian control becomes complete, they could be the ones
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who pay the highest price. after all, during world war ii, almost 50% of their population died because of disease and hunger. and they are worried that they could be the first victims if there is full reassertion of russian authority here, so we're not seeing any of the sort of so-called fascist nazi ukrainian sentiment in the streets whatsoever. anderson? >> and in terms of the government here, when russia says it's run by fascists or influenced by fascists, what do you make of that? there were a wide variety of groups fighting here in this square for change. does that translate into fascist government here? >> i think that for the most part we're looking at the revolution being pro european,
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pro-democracy activists. it's true within those protesters, there are right wing elements. and these are the groups that the russians are fixated on. remember, traditionally, the people of western ukraine regarded the soviet union and regarded russians as enemies. they fought with the nazis, many of them did in the second world war. that's something that the russians have emphasized some would say, overemphasized. nevertheless, like with all of these things, there's an element of truth that runs through it. >> matthew, we'll continue to be spending a lot of time with matthew over the next couple days. you've been hearing in the background some chanting, it's prayers being said. this happens all day long throughout the day, sometimes several times an hour, there's a stage nearby here, there are still hundreds of protesters who are camping out, living here in this square determined not to leave. they said that they've had
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revolutions before, and they've abandoned the square, left the square. trusted what the new government had said, trusts what the new government had promised, only to find out that the new government didn't live up to the promises. the protesters here say they are going to stay here until they see real change on the ground. we're going to take a look at diplomatic efforts in the united states and elsewhere. a lot of criticism by senator john mccain of president obama's efforts. we'll talk to senator mccain and others. we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] how can power consumption in china, impact wool exports from new zealand, textile production in spain, and the use of medical technology in the u.s.? at t. rowe price, we understand the connections of a complex, global economy.
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welcome back. as expected, russia's currency the rubel fell today back in new york. the dow jones industrial average dropped 153 points on the day. dropping as well any trust that may remember between president obama and putin. for more on that, we go to jim shuda. >> one way to describe the obama/putin relationship is ice cold at best. the issues in the ukraine is making it easier and icier. >> putin told obama to butt out. he responded watch me. telling obama, the case of any further spread of violence in eastern ukraine and crimea, russia retains the right to
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protect its interests. how far the two sides have fallen, back in 2009, obama had high hopes for russian/u.s. relations after things went south between george w. bush and putin. the now famous and less than successful russian reset. >> we want to reset our relationship. >> fast forward to may 2012 when putin was re-elected as president, and the chill set back in. it's been one quarrel after another since then, syria, human rights abuses inside russia. u.s. plans to place a missile defense installation in eastern europe, for russian law banning americans from adopting russian children. as if things weren't troubling enough, came the arrival in moscow of national security agency leaker edward snowden. russia welcomed him and granted him temporary asylum. obama was stunned by the move. cancelled a one on one meeting
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with putin before the g-20 meetings in russia last september. he insisted things were okay between him and the russian president. >> i know the press likes to focus on body language and he's got that kind of slouch, looking like the bored kid in the back of the classroom. but the truth is, when we're in conversations together, often times it's very productive. >> vladimir putin did not agree, instead he added fuel to the fire, speaking terrifically to the american people in a letter published in the new york times last september saying, millions around the world increasingly see america not as a model of democracy, but as relying solely on brute force. cobbling coalitions together under the slogan, you're either with us or against us. president obama was still insisting the cold war had not returned. >> i don't think there's any secret on that.
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and our approach as the united states is not to see these as some cold war chegs board in which we're in competition with russia. >> this difficulty handling president putin crosses administrations, you'll remember in 2001, early in his presidency, president bush said he looked into putin's eye and he saw his soul. he thought this was someone he could deal with. a few years later, in 2008 there was an invasion of georgia on president bush's watch, just six years ago, on a background call with reporters. yesterday white house officials made a big backhanded reference to that saying, we didn't look into putin's soul. both sides, both parties have had trouble dealing with vladimir putin. in the span of ten years, you have two different invasions that the u.s. administrations have had to deal with, anderson. >> and we're going to talk to john mccain a little later on in the program for his perspective.
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he's been critical of this white house and their foreign policy in particular. their policy with putin and what's happening on the ground. we're going to hear more from jim coming up. i wanted you to meet michael mcfaul. until recently he was the united states ambassador to russia. he joins us tonight. we heard an extraordinary statement from russia's ambassador to the u.n. a short time ago, reading a letter that he says is from the former president here in ukraine, essentially asking vladimir putin to intervene militarily. did that surprise you? >> it did surprise me, i did see him waving the letter at the u.n. security council meeting today. it surprised me because i watched live the president's last press conference. i was still in russia at the time. he was clear back then in that press conference, he didn't want russian troops to intervene. he must be under pressure in russia, and that's what produced that letter today. >> what do you think is vladimir
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putin's objective in crimea, in the ukraine? >> well, his first objective is just to show that he's not done and he's not giving up ukraine. he and his government have been very frustrated by what happened in kiev just several weeks ago, they're very disappointed in preside president yanukovyk as a weak leader who does not represent their impulses. putin is saying, i'm here, and you're going to have to deal with me. i don't think he's thought through the long term consequences. what is his end game? does he want a part of russia? i think that has yet been determined by president putin himself. >> there was a report in the new york times saying angela merkel had had a conversation with
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president obama in which she questioned how in touch with reality vladimir putin is. obviously you're not privy to that phone conversation, but what do you make of her comments if they're accurately reported by the new york times. >> what i notice in five years working in the obama administration, sometimes it did appear he had bad information in the meetings i was with him, or if it wasn't bad, it was deliberately falsified information. i mean, you've heard, if you've been watchi ining any of the run press as i have over the last few days, you would believe that there have been nazi organizations, terrorist organizations flooding into crimea, and, therefore, the russians there have to be protected. we know from your reporting and from cnn's reporting and other reporters in crimea, that that's absolute nonsense. so one wonders what kind of
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information president putin has at his disposal, and one has to be nervous about it if he doesn't have alternative sources of information. >> can vladimir putin be trusted? >> this is not a game of trust, this is a game of interest, short term versus long term, and i think the western world, including the president of the united states has to make clear to vladimir putin if he stays on this course, there will be consequences. first and foremost, economic consequences. and let me just spell that out a little bit. i think it's important for people to understand that russia in 2014 is not the soviet union from 1956 when they invaded hungary or czechoslovak in 1968. and that russia is an integrated kbhe right now in the international world. russian banks do hundreds of millions if not billions of dollars of transactions with american banks every day. russians have their money in american banks, western banks,
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british banks. russian companies have investments here in the united states, including here in the silicon valley where i am right now, there are vulnerabilities today economically for russia, that there wouldn't have been in earlier years. >> i hope we can call on you in the days ahead. i appreciate it, thank you. >> thanks for having me. >> when we come back, i want to show you a little bit around where we are. this is one of the most extraordinariy locations we've broadcast from. this is a spot where now hundreds of people come every day to pay their respects to those who died here. and all the battlements, the barricades, the sandbags it's all still here, i'm going to show you that right after the break. we'll talk to u.s. senator john mccain and others. [ male announcer ] this is joe woods' first day of work.
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welcome back to our continuing coverage of the crisis here in ukraine. we broadcast from a lot of different places around the world. this is one of the most extraordinary spots i've ever been to to actually broadcast a program. i don't know if you can hear, but off in the dance there are prayers being said over the loud speaker here. there are hundreds of protesters
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living here, camped out here, determined to stay until they see the change they have fought, and in many cases died for. actually come into effect here on the ground. they refused to remove any of the barricades, any of the sandbags that have been put in place, in order to -- in case change does not occur, they say they're ready to take up the fight again. i want to show you a little bit of what we're seeing around us. this goes through the entire square here in independence square. these were sandbags used, piled up against riot police, there's a huge barricade over that bridge over there. you probably can't see it because there's so much fog, it's very dark. very early tuesday morning. this is holy ground for many. hundreds of thousands of people come to pay their respects to those who died here, people they considered martyrs. they leave candles like this on the ground. they bring flowers, pile them up
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here, there are mementos of the fight. somebody's gas mask that they've left. cigarettes, all sorts of flowers, religious objects as well. you see all throughout, scattered as well, you probably can't see it in this darkness, photographs of those who died, often placed on the spots where the people died, as i said, many people consider this in a way, holy ground a place of martyrs and they come to pay their respects, this crisis in the ukraine is just the latest chapter, not what anyone expected to occur here after the hard fought change that occurred here, a little bit more than a week ago. john mccain has been critical of the u.s. policy during this crisis, i spoke to him a little earlier today, here's our conversation. >> in terms of the options that the united states has to try to influence events on the ground here, do we have any options? >> i don't see any military option at this time.
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although, we can be doing some planning. further contingencies, particularly if vladimir putin puts pressure on other countries, there's a range of economic issues, political issues, and frankly comments and statements that can be made which would help to maybe make vladimir putin pay a price for what he's done. >> the threats that the united states has made so far, possibly boycotting the g-8 meetings in sochi this summer, dropping russia out of the g-8 returning to a g-7. do you think they're real threats that vladimir putin would pay attention to? >> i think he loves to strut on the world stage, and i think it could have some impact on him psychologically. that kind of isolation, but we need to do a lot more. we need to accelerate georgia's
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relationship into nato, we need to have a bill expanded that would apply to russians who are responsible for this invasion. remember, anderson, in 1994, the russians signed an agreement in return for removal of nuclear weapons from ukraine that recognized the territorial inted ritty of crimea being part of ukraine. they're in violation of an agreement they signed. it's pretty obvious that putin's priority is the return to the near -- i worry that this administration, especially the president has been operating in another world, particularly as far as vladimir putin is concerned. this idea that utter disbelief that putin would take the action he's just taken in crimea, a total and fundamental mistreating of putin has occurred. and we're paying a heavy price
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for it, it's larger than that. it's when the president made the decision after he said he was going to attack syria, and went back on it, that reverberated all around the world, including asia, as far as china is concerned. >> for people in the united states who are watching this, who don't feel connected to ukraine, who don't feel that this necessarily has an impact on the united states. what do you say, why is this important? >> well, i remember -- and i don't predict there's going to be a world war. i don't predict the reignition of the cold war, i do think that when aggression goes unchecked, the next thing is aggression. we are the world leader, we cannot abandon that responsibility. it does not mean putting boots on the ground. but it means as ronald reagan did, peace and restraint. that's what i'm afraid has been missing in this administration. >> senator mccain, it's good to have you on. >> thank you, anderson. i spoke to senator mccain earlier today, we have break news just that i learned.
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the u.s. has just suspended upcoming bilateral trade and investment engagement with russia over crimea. they've suspended that, whether or not there are further actions to come in the next 12 to 24 hours, we'll certainly be covering that. i want to take a look up next, at military options. russian forces on the ground in crimea, and ukrainian forces. we'll be right back. when it's donut friday at the office i use my citi thankyou card to get two times the points at the coffee shop. which will help me get to miami...and they'll be stuck at the cube farm. the citi thankyou preferred card. now earn two times the points on dining out with no annual fee. go to citi.com/thankyoucards.
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welcome back to our continuing coverage of the crisis in ukraine. i'm reporting live from kiev, just off independence square. we talked to jim earlier in the program. i want to go back to him, i want to drill down on the geography of this entire region. we mentioned earlier on in the program how dependent western europe is on gas coming from russia, a lot of those pipelines run through ukraine. jim takes a geographic look at the situation here. jim? >> for our viewers, if you have any doubt that ukraine is important to the u.s. or russia, it helps to look at the map. let's start with ukraine, it's not some distant land it's in europe. the green is nato allies.
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the u.s. has an obligation to defend them if they come under threat. ukraine is not a member, but there has been talk increasing the ties over the years. a couple hours nighttime to paris, rome, a little further away to london. let's get to why it's important to russia. this is the key here, that's the key russian naval base. the headquarters of the black sea fleet, this is russia's only warm water port. they're cold in the winter, this one takes them through the black sea, the mediterranean, out to the atlantic, that is an essential national security interest of the russians, and one more point just to come across, we talk a lot about the ethnic divisions this is the eastern part of the country along the border with russia, 50 to 75% in this area russians speaking russian ethnically.
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the part toward europe, you get to the polish border here, only 5% russian speakers. and those divisions reflected in the elections. you really get a sense why the u.s. is interested and particularly why russia is very interested in the ukraine. anderson? >> good to have you on the program again. we talked to john mccain a few minutes ago, you heard him say there is no viable military option here. and just about everybody says there's not a military solution to this, there has to be some sort of a diplomatic solution. i want to talk about the military's of ukraine, russia and the united states. what the options are, retired army brigadier general. james jeffrey joins me as well. general ryan, i appreciate you being with us. in terms of the military options for the united states, do you agree with senator john mccain, in that there aren't any? >> yeah, i think in the near
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term, there are none. he's correct in that. you know, we spent the last 24 years in nato trying to convince the russians that we're not a threat to them. and now we see that those claims are confirmed. all the nato members have reduced their numbers and readiness, including the united states. and so today we don't have a near term or immediate reaction we can give. the military reactions, the advice that the joint chiefs are giving the secretary and president on more longer term about helping -- as the senator pointed out, helping the ukraine, helping nato members, especially those bordering russia with increased capability and advice. >> in general, in terms of ukraine's military capabilities, there's no doubt russia's forces are much larger, much better equipped. they put much more money into it over the years.
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ukraine is better equipped than georgia was back in 2008, correct? >> yeah, correct. this would not be a repeat of georgia by any stretch. and i think that the russians understand that. the ukrainian military has fought alongside american forces in iraq and afghanistan. they are a smaller force than russia, they are capable professional military that i think would give a good showing and accounting of itself, especially if they're fighting on their homeland and especially if they're in the western part of the ukraine. >> ambassador jeffrey. you say at this point there's nothing the united states can do to save ukraine, is that true? >> there's nothing we can do militarily to change the reference of forces, the balance of forces, however in georgia, in 2008, we put ships into the black sea during the crisis or
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right after, we flew 2000 troops back from iraq, it's very tricky because this is a very, very dangerous crisis, you don't want to provoke the other side, you don't want to encourage the ukrainians unduly. to say we take military action when putin takes military action, is a recipe for him continuing to take military action. >> do you think president obama should -- there have been some who suggested president obama should suggest nato forces go to the polish/ukrainian border to draw a line or send a message. is that too provocative? >> it's not. we did prepositioned equipment, and rotational training battalions just as putin is doing exercises along the ukrainian border, we can do exercises as well. this is a new ball game. you're there on the ground involves the lives of people all around the ukraine and beyond but also involves their freedom,
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anderson. >> general ryan, where does nato fall in all this? obviously ukraine is not a member of nato, could nato play some sort of a role here? >> well, i think ambassador jeffries suggestions are great, and i didn't mean anything by my earlier comments to suggest that we shouldn't be doing those things, it's just that those things are not going to immediately aspect the outcome in ukraine. certainly nato has the capability of increasing readiness. moving forces around within nato, the united states itself could move forces from the united states over to europe, but these things are going to be one and done type steps for the immediate future. there's not a lot to back them up. last year we had sequestration, this year the united states army really has one or two brigades
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in the homeland that are deployable beyond the ones that go to afghanistan. so we -- and i think everybody understands that, including the russians, whatever we do, it has to be something that seems credible. >> thanks for joining me. i appreciate your expertise. we're going to take a short break, when we come back, we'll have more on the ground with ben wedeman. our clients need a lot of attention. there's unlimited talk and text. we're working deals all day. you get 10 gigabytes of data to share. what about expansion potential? add a line, anytime, for $15 a month. low dues, great terms. let's close! new at&t mobile share value plans our best value plans ever for business. this is the first power plant in the country
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welcome back to our continuing coverage. i'm joined once again by matthew chance here in kiev. matthew, it is important to point out, we were talking about this during the break, this is not the only issue between the united states and russia. in figuring out, trying to affect this situation here. they have to think about their ordealings with russia? >> absolutely. and that's something the united states and other western countries are going to have to think about when they weigh their response to crimea. ukraine season the the only square on the chess board, it's just one squared, there are issues like cooperation with russia over syria, and a peace process there, potentially cooperation over the issue of iran, and it's very controversial nuclear program, getting north korea back to the negotiating table as well. these are areas where the united states and the west already
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cooperate. when the united states weighs it's response, it's going to have to take that into account. it doesn't want to make an already bad situation even worse. >> ben wedeman on the ground in crimea. how present are russian forces and pro russian forces on the streets? are they manning roadblocks, intercepting people, checking people's identity papers? are people able to freely move about? >> life really seems to be going on pretty much as normal, the russians are sort of stationed around ukrainian military bases, as i said before, they were at this ferry port, but we drove for hours and hours throughout crimea today, and we didn't see any russians. no trucks, no men, nothing. and so they don't really interfere with the daily life of people going around. going about their business, they're concentrated in very specific areas. you see them at the airport.
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but they're just -- just two or three walking around, they're not actually involved in the operations of facilities like airports, so it's a very bizarre situation where they're here but they don't really get in the way of anything, but i think their presence is reassuring for those who support them here, but very worrying for others who are opposed to them. ukrainians who for instance think crimea should be part of ukraine, but there are many russians here, ethnic russians who feel that they have come as liberators and protectors, it's a very unusual situation that sometimes is a bit hard to get your head around. >> ben, we appreciate all the reporting you and your crew and your fellow colleagues from cnn have done on the ground there, we'll continue to check in with you over the next several days.
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up next, a dramatic testimony in the murder trial of oscar pistorius. his trial began in south africa today. a number took the stand and described hearing bloodcurdling screams and gunshots. the night pistorius killed his girlfriend. coverage ahead. we'll be right back. my sinuses are acting up and i've got this runny nose. i better take something. truth is, sudafed pe pressure and pain won't treat all of your symptoms. really? alka seltzer plus severe sinus fights your tough sinus symptoms plus your runny nose. oh what a relief it is she loves a lot of it's what you love about her. but your erectile dysfunction - that could be a question of blood flow. cialis tadalafil for daily use
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welcome back to our continuing coverage here live in kiev. you hear prayers still being said early on this tuesday morning. we got a picture in from the white house. president obama meeting with his top national security advisers. susan rice among others. obviously we're going to be monitoring diplomatic events, senator -- excuse me, secretary of state john kerry will be on his way here to kiev to help resolve the crisis, we'll have continuing coverage all throughout the day. and i'll be back on ac 360 tomorrow night live from here in kiev, i want to get you caught up on some of the other stories we're following, randi kaye joins us with a 360 bulletin. the murder trial of oscar pistorius began today. testimony from a neighbor who testified she was awakened by
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bloodcurdling screams. pistorius said he shot his girlfriend because he thought she was an intruder. the nation's capital and the surrounding region took the brunt of the winter storm that hit the area today. catholic parishioners in new jersey are withholding contributions to protest a retirement home for one priest. this at a time when catholic schools are closing. anderson? >> randi appreciate the update. thanks very much. we'll have another edition of ac 360 at 10:00 eastern time tonight, i hope you join us for that. "piers morgan live" starts right now. breaking news, president obama has wrapped up a cabinet leve